Google’s Ambitious Tracking Cookie Plan Might Be Delayed

Will the tech giant still be phasing cookies out next year?

Google logo
An ambitious Google initiative might be delayed.
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When it comes to humans’ use of the internet, it’s fair to say that there are a lot of moving parts — and that some of those parts are being watched more closely than others. Tracking certain users of the internet can have a bearing on the ads they see when browsing the web, for instance — which is one of the reasons why the Google-owned YouTube recently stepped up its resistance to ad-blocking software.

That’s not the only way that Google is altering its approach to online tracking, however. The company also announced its plan to phase out the use of third-party cookies, citing the importance of “preserving user privacy.” Earlier this year, Google suggested that this would begin in 2024. As Lara O’Reilly writes at Insider, some voices within the industry are concerned that Google’s timeline might be too ambitious.

Citing “some industry experts,” O’Reilly writes that some technologists are concerned that Google hasn’t given itself enough time for widespread changes to be approved for industry-wide use. At issue is Google’s goal of phasing out its support for cookies by the middle of next year and then getting approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom.

O’Reilly points to a period of between two and four months between the CMA giving its approval and Google ending support for cookies as the point where things get especially challenging. Wait too long and Google might be pushing the internet into unknown terrain right about the 2024 holiday season; ask for a delay and this significant change would be pushed back yet again. Neither seems like an ideal option.

As per Insider’s report, both the CMA and Google are holding fast to the existing schedule as of now. Parties unaffiliated with either the agency or the tech giant, however, expressed more skepticism — which means that going on the internet might take an interesting turn in a year or so.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.